Premiers calling on the feds to boost healthcare funding to provinces and territories

An increase from 22 to 35 percent in funding would mean another $10 billion for Ontario alone

A virtual meeting of the minds has Premiers from across Canada calling on Ottawa for increased supports.

Premiers of the provinces and territories held a joint media conference on Thursday to renew a call for the federal government to increase its share of funding for provincial/territorial healthcare to 35 per cent.

According to the group of premiers, were the federal government to increase its share of the Canadian Health Transfer to 35 per cent, that would mean Ontario alone would receive more than $10 billion in additional healthcare funding. Queen’s Park says this money could go towards increased access to home and community care, building more long-term care beds, address the large backlog of cancelled surgeries, and improve wait times at hospitals across Ontario.

“Rebuilding our health system after a once-in-a-century pandemic requires an all-hands-on-deck approach,” said Ontario Premier Doug Ford. “With wait times for backlogged surgeries growing and our long-term care homes in desperate need of more support, it’s never been more important that the federal government work with the provinces. All of the Premiers urge the Prime Minister to become a true funding partner and increase the federal government’s share of total health care spending to 35 per cent through the Canada Health Transfer, and to maintain this level over time with a minimum annual escalator of at least five per cent.”

Under the original Medical Care Act passed in 1966, the federal government covered 50 per cent of eligible hospital and physician expenses. That number has since dropped to 22 per cent.